When I was a kid I had a little “playhouse” under the stairs. I loved it. So when I was renovating my basement I just had to have one put in for my kids. I love the look of a cedar house. We live in a brick colonial so the only way I’m going to get my cedar dream house was to build it under the basement stairs.
** side note – this cedar play house was constructed before the blog was even a concept. So documenting it properly was not top of mind. Therefore, I will try to explain the process but this project might just have to be used as a sample or idea of what you can do. **
I had the bright idea to renovate my basement (see more on that here). And I roped my mother into helping. The staircase in the basement was taken down to the studs and just as we were about to put drywall up (to close the whole wall up) – I made a joke about using the space under the stairs as a play house. My mom – never shying away from another project said, “Great idea! Let’s do it!”…just kidding. She was more like, “Let’s finish the f*ing basement first before we add more work”. Anyway…I got my way. We removed a stud in the center under the stairs and re-framed it so we could have a 20 inch wide by 32 inch high opening for a door. And we added drywall along the “ceiling of the house” / the underside of the steps and the walls inside.
We made a door that would fit the opening with wood scraps from the basement renovation. Painted it in a navy blue color, hung the door on small hinges and added a kitchen drawer pull as the door knob. Then we added trim around the door opening for a more finished look.
Once the inside was complete and the outside door was in place we could then design the outside of the house. I bought 18″Cedar Shingles from Amazon.
To install shingles you’ll preferably need a nail gun . You’ll want to start at the very bottom of the house. Nail in each shingle leaving a very small space (the size of a nickel width) between each shingle. These shingles were 18 inches long and I wanted a 7 inch “show”. Which mean you need to measure 7 inches from the bottom of shingle and make a mark. Your next layer of shingles will be placed at that mark. So only 7 inches of the shingle underneath will “show”. You’ll want to use different size shingles (width wise) when building the layers. Try to avoid having seams line up. As you can see in the picture we used another piece of trim to make a roof peak. We then had to cut and trim the shingles in order to fit them within the house outline by using a chop saw to cut those pieces to size.
We then finished staining the banister and painting the railings we installed earlier in the basement renovation. And built a tiny mailbox and added the American flag. It’s the real show piece in our basement – and I love it!